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#781254 - 03/08/06 06:57 AM Getting high profile gigs as a sideman
Keener Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
Help!!!

I love my job and I'm very lucky to be a musician and make a living doing what I love ..... however .... I've been playing clubs, casinos, corporates primarily for the last 15 years and I am in a rut .... what I really want to do is play theatres/ arenas/ stadiums as a sideman for the big name acts.

I guess you have to trust me on this next part .... I'm very good at what I do.... utilities guy (keys, sax, guitar) and a good singer. Pro, easy to get along with, good hygiene, non smoker, non drinker, no hangups, prompt, no criminal record etc.

However - I have one thing going against me - I'm Canadian. I love my country ... however, the "holy grail" for these gigs seems to be in the US - the land of opportunity .... trying to move there is getting increasingly difficult with proper documentation ....

Any advice on my situation?

Thank you!

Steven Keener

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#781255 - 03/08/06 10:17 AM Re: Getting high profile gigs as a sideman
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
Quote:
Originally posted by Keener:
Help!!!

... the US - the land of opportunity .... trying to move there is getting increasingly difficult with proper documentation ....

Any advice on my situation?

Thank you!

Steven Keener
That cannot possibly be true. The country is flooded with immigrants who don't speak the language, drag down the economy, live off of public services like welfare and contribute nothing. Surely an englishspeaking individual could cross the border and find a job.

Bill
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#781256 - 03/08/06 06:38 PM Re: Getting high profile gigs as a sideman
Keener Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
Hi Bill-

Thanks for your reply. The problem is living down there .... as a Canadian I can stay there for six months out of the year as a visitor. In that time, I have to network ... play clubs, strut my musical stuff and I guess make a small amount of money to survive.

In order to do this - I need a work visa (a P2) from the place that hires me. Also - I must have engagements throughout the time my work visa is in place (eg. - is my gig is one weekend - my work visa is for that weekend - but if I have regular gigs at my place of engagement for a year or so - then they will allow a year long work visa). These visas cost $180.00 (US Dollars) and can take up to 4 months to process according to the AFM (unless you wish to expedite the process - then you pay an extra $1000.00 (US Dollars) to make it a "less than two week" turnaround time.

Clubs and smaller society gigs generally don't want to deal with this sort of thing (I can do the paperwork - but the work "immigration" generally scares people off).....

The bigger the gig - the more likely they'll jump the legal hoops with you if they want you bad enough.

Of course the other option is living there illegally but I'm not sure I want to take that chance ....

Any ideas? It'd be greatly appreciated ....

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#781257 - 03/12/06 02:40 PM Re: Getting high profile gigs as a sideman
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
visit on vacation legally. Get work. Apply for resident status, citing the work as the reason.

Bill
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#781258 - 03/12/06 11:03 PM Re: Getting high profile gigs as a sideman
Fumblyfingers Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 4738
Problem is that you can't take work from a US citizen and there are so many unemployed musicians here. And you have to be a well known international artist to get in on one of those special visas.The kind Lennon got in on.

I got in a long time ago, tried to as a musician but it was not going to happen. Turns out since I had a trade (Qualified Motorcycle Technician) I could get in as that as there was a documented shortage of laborers in that field.

Doing things the right way is tough!!! That's why so many people just come in here and abuse the system, and why so many people that would be good to have here don't bother going through it. The INS is hardcore. You gotta dot all your i's and cross all your t's, miss something and they will toss it out. I got a lawyer, you have to. It is gonna be tough, hunker down for that.

If you are single, you could consider marrying an American. I mean on the up and up, if you know what I mean.Would not be the first time it was done.

Maybe there are new ways nowadays, but that's my 2 pennies.

Good luck!

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#781259 - 03/14/06 11:52 AM Re: Getting high profile gigs as a sideman
Keener Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Canada
Thanks for the advice guys - don't want to go in illegally .... I want my piece but not that bad .... I'll keep you posted.

Take care
SK

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